Asee peer logo

A Human-Centric Engineering Education Model Inspired from Modern Manufacturing Processes

Download Paper |

Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

TELPhE Division Technical Session 2: The Broadening Face of Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36586

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36586

Download Count

102

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Y. Curtis Wang California State University, Los Angeles

visit author page

Y. Curtis Wang is with the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at California State University, Los Angeles.

visit author page

biography

Jim Kuo California State University, Los Angeles

visit author page

Jim Kuo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles.

visit author page

biography

He Shen California State University, Los Angeles

visit author page

He Shen is currently with Department of Mechanical Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles. His research interests include robotics and control, as well as engineering education.

visit author page

biography

David E. Raymond California State University, Los Angeles

visit author page

Dr. Raymond is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Cal State LA. His teaching focus is on fundamental solid mechanics courses. His research interests are in the area of applied injury biomechanics and engineering pedagogy.

visit author page

author page

Mathias J. Brieu California State University, Los Angeles

Download Paper |

Abstract

In the traditional factory-based engineering education model, schools are modeled as factories, where students are often superficially viewed as unfinished parts and materials which undergo a series of cold, machine-like value-added processes to produce educated graduates. Critics of this model are often unsatisfied with the non-individualized dimensions of a rigid, collective mechanistic cultural production model. However, manufacturing processes and workflows in modern (2000s and beyond) production environments have become tailored for employee autonomy and product customization, offering an opportunity to re-examine the traditional factory-based engineering education model and develop new synergies for balancing efficiency and individualization.

In this paper, we examine and expand on this factory-based metaphor by proposing an updated human-centric engineering education model based on modern manufacturing processes to demonstrate that efficiency does not have to be antagonistic to individualization. Several tenets of manufacturing and production workflows that can be adapted to an educational environment are identified, such as the Toyota Production System (TPS) workflow. In particular, our example model focuses on the principles of respect for people, continuous improvement, and visual control. Utilizing these principles from modern industry can capture both the humanistic and consistency components required by engineering education for students to draw important insights. Within this updated model, instead of viewing students as products, students are viewed as employees. In this view, students develop the engineering knowledge and skills they need for their career, akin to employees producing products to a specification. As with an assembled product, the quality of the value-added process at each stage of a manufacturing process directly impacts downstream components, especially if there is a direct reliance for a particular requirement. For example, calculus is required in nearly all engineering courses, and competency in calculus can be analogous to quality of an input stage early in the manufacturing process initiated by the employee.

Finally, we present a learner-centered course redesign of a statics course to show the applicability of modern manufacturing principles towards improving engineering education. This redesign demonstrates that a mastery-based course structure is consistent with our updated model and TPS principles. In this redesign, a continuous and iterative process was employed to ensure continuous improvement, and it follows a closed loop pattern of diagnosis, analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation (diagnosis).

Wang, Y. C., & Kuo, J., & Shen, H., & Raymond, D. E., & Brieu, M. J. (2021, July), A Human-Centric Engineering Education Model Inspired from Modern Manufacturing Processes Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36586

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015